The problems of the Subjunctive Mood in English — страница 3

  • Просмотров 2088
  • Скачиваний 21
  • Размер файла 52

others, and we shall therefore in this chapter deal with the first three moods only. These are sometimes called fact-mood, thought-mood, and will-mood respectively. But they do not express different relations between subject and predicate. It is much more correct to say that they express certain attitudes of the mind of the speaker towards the contents of the sentence. O. Jespersen in his work «A modern English Grammar» presents forms of the Subjunctive Mood in the table: For expressing unreal action, simultaneous or planning action towards now For expressing unreal action, past towards now I. I should he, she, it would do we should be doing you would be done they would II. I he, she, it do we would be doing you be done they III. I he, she, it do we should be doing you be done

they IV. I he, she, it we be, did, were you they should would have done should have been doing would have been doing would have done would have been doing have been doing have done should have been doing have been doing had been had done The Subjunctive Mood from the point of view of the representatives of the Russian linguistic school The category of mood in the present English verb has given rise to so many discussions, and has been treated in so many different ways, that it seems hardly possible to arrive at any more or less convincing and universally acceptable conclusion concerning it. Indeed, the only points in the sphere of mood which have not so far been disputed seem to be these: there is a category of mood in Modern English; there are at least two moods in the modern

English verb, one of which is the Subjunctive. These points were discussed not only by English grammarians, but Russian grammarians too. Academician V. Vinogradov in his work «Russian Language» gave the definition of the category of mood: «Mood expresses the relation of the action to reality, as stated by the speaker.» The relations between meaning and form will be expressed by two different series of external signs. The first of these two points may be illustrated by sequence we should come, which means one thing in the sentence I think we should come here again tomorrow; it means another thing in the sentence if we knew that he wants us we should come to see him, and it means another thing again in the sentence How queer that we should come at the very moment when you were

talking about us! In a similar way, several meanings may be found in the sequence he would come in different contexts. The second of the two points may be illustrated by comparing the two sentences, I suggest that he go and I suggest that he should go, and we will for the present neglect the fact that the first of the two variants is more typical of American, and the second of British English. Matters are still further complicated by two phenomena where we are faced with a choice between polysemy and homonymy. One of these concerns forms like lived, knew, etc. Such forms appear in two types of contexts, of which one may be exemplified by the sentences, He lived here five years ago, or I knew it all along, and the other by the sentences If he lived here he would come at once, or,

If I knew his address I should write to him. In sentences of the first type the form obviously is the past tense of the indicative mood. The second type admits of two interpretations: either the form lived, knew, etc. are the same forms of the past indicative that were used in the first type, but they have acquired another meaning in this particular context, or else the forms lived, knew, etc. are forms of the past indicative but are basically different. There is another peculiar complication in the analysis of mood. The question is, what verbs are auxiliaries of Mood in Modern English? The verbs should and would are auxiliaries expressing unreality. But the question is less clear with the verb may when used in such sentences as Come closer that I may hear what you say. Is the

group may hear some mood form of the verb hear, or is it a free combination of two verbs, thus belonging entirely to the field of syntax, not morphology? The same question may be asked about the verb may in such sentences as May you be happy! Where it is part of a group used to express a wish, and is perhaps a mood auxiliary. We ought to seek an objective criterion which would enable us to arrive at a convincing conclusion. All these considerations, varied as they are, make the problem of mood in Modern English extremely difficult to solve and they seem to show in advance that no universally acceptable solution can be hoped for in a near future. Those proposed so far have been extremely unlike each other. Owning to the difference of approach to moods, grammarians have been